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Quanta in sound, the sound of quanta: a voice-informed quantum theoretical perspective on sound


Humans have a privileged, embodied way to explore the world of sounds, through vocal imitation. The Quantum Vocal Theory of Sounds (QVTS) starts from the assumption that any sound can be expressed and described as the evolution of a superposition of vocal states, i.e., phonation, turbulence, and supraglottal myoelastic vibrations. The postulates of quantum mechanics, with the notions of observable, measurement, and time evolution of state, provide a model that can be used for sound processing, in both directions of analysis and synthesis. QVTS can give a quantum-theoretic explanation to some auditory streaming phenomena, eventually leading to practical solutions of relevant sound-processing problems, or it can be creatively exploited to manipulate superpositions of sonic elements. Perhaps more importantly, QVTS may be a fertile ground to host a dialogue between physicists, computer scientists, musicians, and sound designers, possibly giving us unheard manifestations of human creativity.